Registration needed before hotels impose tourism tax

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 July 2017:

Hotel operators have been reminded to register with the Tourism and Culture Ministry as soon as possible in view of the implementation of the tourism tax from Aug 1.

“We will find them … it is compulsory (to register),” said Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

Mohamed Nazri had said Malaysians would be exempted from paying the tax for all hotel categories while the tax on foreign tourists would be at a flat rate of RM10 per room per night.

However, it will not be applicable for premises with five rooms or less, homestays and village stays.

Meanwhile, advertisements of restaurant and hotel services will soon have to display single pricing – which includes tax – so that consumers are not duped and get fair treatment when making payments, said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin.

He said this was necessary because there have been instances when traders take consumers for a ride with hidden charges.

“When consumers see an advertisement for an item priced at RM100, they will pay RM100. All charges including the GST and service tax must already be included and there will no longer be any hidden charges.”

He said the first reading of the amendments to the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 was tabled in Parliament earlier this week and he himself would debate the amendments on Monday or Tuesday.

“The amendments are enhancements to the act so that consumers are not shocked when making payments and are aware of what services are offered, at a high or low price.

“So, the traders can no longer trick consumers by imposing additional charges which were not in the displayed price. Under the Customs Act, they have to display the breakdown of prices in the receipt.”

Adding that he hoped the Act would be passed and implemented by the end of this year, Hamzah said other sectors would be included from time to time after discussions are held with the stakeholders.

He said the Act will clarify the definition of price tags which are allowed for display so that all charges are included together and consumers do not have to pay additional charges.

“For now, we have proposed a fine of RM100,000 on errant traders. What is important is that the Act is passed so that it can provide protection to consumers.”

In a separate development, he said the ministry would announce the date for gazetting the Hire Purchase and Credit Sale Act that was passed in the previous Parliamentary session, soon.

– Bernama

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